As Bonfire Night approaches, owners of firework-phobic dogs start to worry about how they can prevent their pooches from becoming panicked and distressed by the cracks and bangs of fireworks going off. New dog owners may also be caught out by the consequences of not preparing properly. Nobody likes to see a dog suffering from stress and anxiety at this or any other time of year.
Practical tips on how to help your dog:
- Set an example by acting as normally as you can. Your dog is constantly looking to you as a reference point so move slowly and quietly and avoid jerky movements while providing constant reassurance.
- You can try to distract your dog with a toy or some food.
- Create a den – Where your dog would like it! Maybe your dog has chosen before.
- A safety rug – always a great place for cuddles.
- The power of food – good nutrition powers the ability to handle stress.
- Lower the lighting.
- Never leave your dog alone – always make sure you’re in line of sight.
- Use background noise to hide or break up the sounds.
- Ensure your pooch is exercised mentally, but not over-exercised physically.
- Be careful of changing routines in case that also upsets your dog.
- Only walk during the day – if that’s not possible, avoid the walk completely.
- Don’t leave your dog home alone.
- Make sure your dog has his ID tag on in case it bolts (your surname, house name or number, postcode and telephone number).
- Shut all windows and draw all curtains as soon as it starts to get dark.
- Makes sure all outside doors and windows are locked and inform any household members or visitors to keep them that way.
- Consider supplements such as Zyklene, Pet Remedy, Yucalm or holistic treatments.
And yes, you can soothe your dog, but be careful not to overdo it.
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